Gusty

Yesterday, while working at the nav station, the wind began to pick up. It was coming from the south, blowing the bow of the boat around enough to where I went to check the lines. I checked the marine weather report and it didn’t say much.

Now, I mostly just stood out there and made a face like I’m deeply contemplating some sailor knowledge. In reality, I was standing out in the wind trying to assess how many ways the boat won’t magically untether from the dock and float away with the dog as I freak out from the dock. The bow of the boat was moving back and forth at least ten degrees, rolling enough to make me really nervous. I try to not be nervous around the dog because she picks up on those emotions and it’s pitiful. Understandably, she didn’t appreciate the rocking and was four paws out and head down for a bit. At one point we were on our side, and I was terrified (needlessly for the most part) that the rail would clip under the dock and we’d sink.

Seemed like the front line would snap and we’d go careening into the posh powerboat next to us. Their cute little matching fender covers would probably not save them as our bowsprit would move like the clock arm striking 2pm and whack a front part of their boat that I cannot name. The front left.

I looked at the lines and thought of all the ways they could break, where the boat might go if one or all did. I mentally located the extra lines. I checked with reality as well, which I’m thinking I might want as an actual line to check. Reality line was totally fine.

Essentially, the ideas going through my head were Final Destination level events that could not normally happen in real life. So far fetched and so far out there, yes, but that’s how my brain works. Want the most unlikely scenario for something? Come sit next to me.

Portside. We’d hit our neighbor in the port side…hull. Port side hull!

Lesson: Don’t let your creative brain get the best of you in a situation you are scared of. Refer again to science and chill out. There are not monsters under the bed and the boat won’t magically float into the sound. Check reality line.

Erik, one of the neighbors, checked the lines of another boat next to him. The power cord was stretched a bit. I noted that I already checked that part, and was excited to have some of the checklist in my head. It reminded me that I still have to get a storm checklist together.

I went out to talk to him for a minute, and he asked me about the boat. This is after I offered to help him and successfully dropped a line in the water while doing so. This is like the worst mistake ever, like might as well not even be there. I could hear the sad trombonish whomp whomp sound in my brain for the remainder of our conversation. I need more confidence in what I’m doing here. I think I’m hesitating a bit in things. Everyone is super helpful, kind and realizes that we all begin at something to get anywhere at all. It’s still hard to tell my lack of knowledge story right now.

Erik and I talked about the weather, apparently this little gusty episode wasn’t on the reports.

I told Shayne the wind gust story when he returned from errands, and he spent part dinner asking about my thoughts as I went to check the boat. I talked about how when I actually went out there, I did consider if a line breaks what’d I’d do (get a backup in the same spot, clean up after storm), how the boat might move given the slack in the lines, and what I was looking for. I was on all the right tracks.

As with anything that I don’t know about, I try to clear my head and give a clean slate for innovation when I approach a situation. Not knowing about boats and sailing at all doesn’t mean I can’t assess a situation and figure out a way to fix things. I’ve found that many times I can step back and play through my head what I think might happen based on wind, movement, heat, air flow, or other factors and get pretty far. I think a lot of my approach here has been successful because I go about it slowly and with thought, as opposed to my normal speed of hyperdrive.

I told myself this is my world on this boat where I can take the pace I need to learn, and I think that’s been key to the lack of stress about what I don’t know. Stressing over what I don’t know blocks the ability for me to absorb the very things I need to learn.